Alexa
  • Directory of Taiwan

Baptista scores two for Arsenal, one for Spurs in League Cup draw

Baptista scores two for Arsenal, one for Spurs in League Cup draw

Julio Baptista scored two goals for Arsenal after conceding an own-goal in drawing Tottenham 2-2 in an English League Cup semifinal on Wednesday.
After Dimitar Berbatov gave Spurs a 12th-minute lead at White Hart Lane, Baptista, who scored four goals in the Gunners' 6-3 victory at Liverpool in the previous round, made it 2-0 when he deflected a free kick into his own net in the 20th.
But the Brazilian, who is on a season's loan from Real Madrid, scored in the 64th and 77th minutes to capture a draw, and the Gunners regained favoritism for the second leg at Emirates Stadium on Jan. 31.
The winner will face Chelsea in the Feb. 25 final at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium.
Chelsea reached its second League Cup final in three seasons by beating League Two's Wycombe 4-0 on Tuesday, advancing 5-1 overall.
"We have shown that we have talent and heart as well," Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said. "We could have scored a third goal. I thought in the second half it was all us.
"At halftime (when Arsenal was 2-0 down) we would have signed for 2-2. Now we play at the Emirates and we have a good chance to go to the final."
Against a virtually full-strength Tottenham lineup, Wenger kept faith with the youngsters who had played in the previous three rounds. Thierry Henry, Jens Lehmann, Gilberto Silva and Tomas Rosicky weren't even on the bench while Robin van Persie was ruled out with a foot injury.
The kickoff was delayed 15 minutes because the bus carrying the Gunners was held up in traffic, even though Arsenal is only a few kilometers (miles) from White Hart Lane in north London.
In a high-quality first half of attacking, end-to-end play, Spurs almost went ahead in the fifth minute when Berbatov swapped passes with Jermain Defoe only to fire against the near post.
Martin Jol's team took the lead in the 12th when Defoe crossed from the right and Berbatov took advantage of confusion by Gunners goalkeeper Manuel Almunia and defender Kolo Toure to deal with the ball. The Bulgarian was left unchallenged as he headed home from only five meters (yards).
Berbatov injured his groin in the act of scoring and went off five minutes later. But it was 2-0 in the 20th when Tom Huddlestone curled in a free kick from the left. Michael Dawson skipped over the ball which struck Baptista and deflected inside the near post.
Arsenal came back in the second half and Dawson headed the ball off the line in the 61st when goalkeeper Paul Robinson ran out and failed to reach a free kick from Cesc Fabregas.
Two minutes later Baptista collected a low cross from Emmanuel Eboue and, after stumbling, got up to retrieve the ball and shoot home from 12 meters (yards).
The Brazilian made it 2-2 in the 77th when Justin Hoyte beat the Spurs offside trap with a break down the right. The fullback crossed low for Baptista to arrive unmarked in the middle and slide the ball home.
Almunia then rescued the Gunners with an acrobatic one-handed save to keep out a chip from Defoe after the England striker had outpaced the Arsenal defense.


Updated : 2021-05-16 02:50 GMT+08:00